Lady Vol Report: Kicking It Up A Notch

Oct. 17, 2012

Here are a few of the most important quotes of the day from Coach Warlick and the players:


"I think they're understanding how physical the game is and how quick it is, keeping up with the tempo. I think that's probably the hardest thing for them is the up and down and the change. Everything is physical, hitting and boxing out, those types of things. I think they're adjusting to that. I think overall, their athletic ability really stands out, and I like what I see from the freshmen."

"I think it's a combination of both. Obviously we're going to build on the foundation that Pat built and that I was involved in. And some of the experience we have. And just the athleticism and spirit of the freshmen, I love what they're bringing to the team. The sophomores and upper classmen are putting their arms around them. Hopefully I can build in the foundation of Pat and then put in what I see fit for this team. It's not so much my philosophy. I think Pat and my philosophy has always been great defense, rebounding. That's going to continue but we really haven't had the ability to run the ball like I think we can this year."

"The role of assistant is to make sure you're a go-between the head coach and the players. I've always done my job as an assistant and now I'm in the role where I'm probably a little bit more demanding, my voice needs to be heard a little bit more. I can see them saying that I've stepped it up a notch because that's what I'm supposed to do. That's what I'm going to do."


"I think it will take a little bit, but any system is going to take a little bit to get exactly what the coach wants. I think the defensive intensity on every possession might take a little bit, but really getting it out and pushing it. It'll maybe look a little different on every game too depending on what the defense does to scout us. We want to be consistent on that. It may take a little bit and then again, it might not. We're picking it up pretty quickly, and that's the exciting part."


"I've just been telling them every day when you come to practice, you have to be mentally ready. There are going to be times where you're going to be fatigued, you're going to be tired and trying to get through practice. I just say take one thing at a time and get through each practice each day."

"Everybody is a team to beat. We have to take one game at a time. Everybody is going to be after Tennessee. We have a red dot on our chest. We have to play each and every game. Take one game at a time and make sure we work hard every day at practice."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Tennessee women's basketball team sits a little more than two weeks out from its first exhibition game of the season, the squad has kicked it up a notch in practice sessions.

"We've been going pretty hard," head coach Holly Warlick said. "(Yesterday) We got up for a 6 a.m. workout and then had a three-hour practice. I think our time we've spent putting in the hours caught up to us yesterday. Overall, I've been pretty pleased with our efforts. Been able to pick it up on what we're trying to teach. Overall, I'm very pleased."

Warlick noted the hard work the Lady Vols have been putting in, especially during the offseason.

"Cierra Burdick had a great summer and that shows," Warlick said. "(Ariel) Massengale has gotten into great shape and that shows. I look at those two in particular and what they're doing and their leadership."

Junior Meighan Simmons has stepped up her game, putting in extra hours over the summer and in the gym leading up to the first exhibition game.

"Over the summer I worked out really hard," Simmons said. "The past couple of days I've been trying to get in the gym and get extra shots and find other ways to score. Even in practice, I try to take the things I've done on my own and try to make the adjustment in practice.

"I feel like this year it's going to be about defense. We're not going to be the tallest team, but we are the quickest team, so I feel like our defense is really something that is going to help us out."

Along with the players' hard work, the squad has become well-acclimated with Warlick at the helm.

"This year she definitely has to step into the role of being a head coach," sophomore Isabelle Harrison said. "She's going to be demanding because she wants the best out of us. She's going to keep on pushing until we give it to her now."

"She's still that same energetic Holly, who is going to get excited for you," senior Taber Spani said. "But I think you're going to see a more challenging and direct language from her than you have in the past, more of the head coach language. You can definitely see that in her tone and expectations of us and what she's requiring from us. The expectations are a lot greater now that she's head coach. You see the old and the new parts of Holly. I think that's part of her evolution as a coach, and I think she's doing a great job."

With 15 days remaining before the Big Orange welcomes Carson-Newman to Thompson-Boling Arena, the Lady Vols are focused and determined to prove themselves.

"As far as our exhibition games, it's a test to see how well we're going to handle the situations for games to come," Simmons said. "I think from here on out we're going to do really, really well. We just have to take one game at a time and learn from every mistake."

"It's going to be tough. At Tennessee, we play tough teams, and that's what makes us Tennessee. When we play the tough teams, we become greater and greater each and every time. We have to take one game at a time and make sure that we don't get down on a game and we have to stick together."

"We're just focusing on these 11 players and trying to get the best that we can out of each and every one of us and becoming the best team that we can be," Spani said. "We'll let the results take care of themselves."





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